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How Many Calories Should A Cat Eat Per Day

How To Care For A Nursing Cat

What A Cat Eats In A Day

Aside from making sure that you are giving your nursing cat a complete and balanced canned kitten food formula, you should also make sure that she is well-cared for by providing a comfortable and quiet place for her and the kittens.

These are some tips on how to care for your nursing cat:

  • Let the mama cat nurse the kittens for at least seven to nine weeks.
  • Use a milk replacement like homemade kitten formula if the mama cats milk is not enough.
  • Make sure that the mama cat and the kittens have a quiet and secluded place at your home.
  • Be sure to give flea treatments to the mama cat but not to the kittens.
  • If the mama cat decides to move her kittens, just let her be but see to it that it is a safe area for them.
  • You should bring the mama cat to the vet a week after she has given birth. You should also bring the kittens so they will also be checked. Aside from vaccinations, the mama cat should be dewormed to protect her and the kittens.

How Much Should A Cat Eat This Is How To Feed A Cat Properly

Ideal weight for the average indoor cat is 9-10 pounds.

The NRC recommends feeding a 9-pound cat 250 calories daily to maintain that weight. However, every cat is an individual.

So it is better to use a body condition score card, your cats weight, and your cats daily intake to determine how much a cat should eat.

Disclaimer: I earn a commission through affiliate links below. No additional cost to you.

Also, nothing I say is medical advice. All photos are of my cats.

Breed Specific Feeding Requirements

Can a cats breed define the amount of calories it needs? Of course, although that will still be related to its weight, activity level, and body type. So, naturally, the larger and more active breeds will require more kcals per day, and our guide and calculator still will be able to help you establish the starting point.

Nevertheless, there are diets and foods advised for specific breeds to keep their health in the best condition, so you should consult a vet for that kind of advice on what exactly to feed to your cat.

  • Top rated cat food

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How Much Wet Food Should I Feed My Cat

For starters, have your cat evaluated by a veterinarian. He or she will weigh your cat, identify your cats ideal weight, and determine the number of calories your cat should take in every day to reach that goal.

A pet calorie calculator can also get you into the ballpark. If your cat is severely overweight, your veterinarian may recommend a prescription cat food for weight loss otherwise an over-the-counter weight control cat food should suffice.

Next, look at the label of your cats wet food. At best, the feeding instructions will be somewhat vague, and they certainly dont apply to every cat in every situation. It helps do some math. A wet cat foods caloric content should be listed somewhere on the label.

For example, American Journey minced chicken and tuna recipe provides 73 calories per 3-ounce can. If you cant find this information, look it up on the manufacturers website or give them a call.

Lets say your veterinarian has determined that your cat should take in 240 calories per day. In this example, you simply need to divide 240 by 73 to determine how many 3-ounce cans of the American Journey chicken and tuna recipe you should offer your cat daily.

240 / 73 = 3.3

Therefore, your cat needs to eat roughly 3 1/3 cans of this food per day.

How To Calculate Calories For Weight Gain

How Many 3 Oz Cans Of Cat Food Per Day

Some cats can be too thin and may need to put on some extra pounds. Thin cats have a body condition reflected in a narrowed waist, protruding rib cage, and exposed bony processes of the spine.

Here is an example of how to calculate calories for weight gain. Letâs say you have a 6-pound cat and you want to calculate the energy requirements for weight gain. When we look at Table 1, the basic RER requirements for a 6-pound cat is 149 calories. When you look at Table 2, you see a factor of 1.8 x RER for ideal weight.

The calculation is 149 calories x 1.8 = 268.2 calories. This 6-pound cat needs to eat approximately 268 calories to gain weight.

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Newborn Kitten Age: 0

During this stage, most kittens rely on their mothers milk as their only source of nutrition. If their mother is present, you wont need to feed kittens at alltheyll know how to feed themselves! That said, if youve rescued an orphaned kitten, youll need to bottle feed him. Kittens require a kitten milk replacer, which replicates the nutrition found in mother cats milk. Do not feed a kitten cows milkit doesnt have the right nutritional balance to nourish a newborn kitten.

Why Is It So Common For Cats To Become Overweight Or Obese

An estimated 50% of cats over the age of five carry too much bodyweight, making them either overweight or obese. Too much food is the main contributor to excessive bodyweight, so its essential to make sure your cat is eating the right amount.

It has become increasingly common for pet cats to become overweight or obese, with estimates that around 50% of cats over the age of five years carry too much body weight. Cat carers are often not aware that their pets are overweight or obese, yet an overweight cat is more likely to suffer health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, kidney disease, and a shorter life span.

The most common reason for cats becoming overweight or obese is simply that cat carers offer their cat more food than their cat needs.

Thats why its so important to know how much food you should offer your cat every day, so that your cat avoids preventable health problems later in life.

Cats, just like humans, enjoy eating: its one of the great pleasures of life, and a cats diet is one of the most important parts of their day. And because cat carers like to make their pets happy, its all too easy to want to give them extra food, to give them even more enjoyment in life.

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However, we all need to step back and recognise that while feeding a pet makes them happy in the immediate moment, if we give them too much food, the excessive food intake causes serious discomfort, poor health, and a shorter life in the long term.

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What The Vets Have To Say About It

If we assume the average cat weighs approximately 10 pounds then the average indoor cat needs 250 calories a day, according to the team at Kirkwood Animal Hospital in Kirkwood, Missouri. Most high quality foods have approximately 500 calories per 8 ounce cup of food meaning an average-sized house cat should have a total of 4 ounces of food a day.

Knowing how much to feed your cat starts with identifying their ideal body weight. This is something you should discuss with your cats veterinarian, but you can do a quick visual assessment at home. Cats should have ribs and a spine that are easy to feel but not too bony, writes Dr. Jacqueline Brister, DVM for Embrace Pet Insurance. When looking at a kitty from above, the abdomen should taper in somewhat. In other words, a cat of a healthy weight should have an hourglass figure.

However, there are some exceptions to this thin and trim rule. As cats enter adulthood, they may develop extra, loose skin on the belly region in between their legs a feature vets call the primordial pouch, according to Dr. Brister. Veterinary experts arent exactly sure why cats have it, but it is likely used for protection of important belly structures during a fight. While normal, your vet should still examine your older cat to see whether this pouch is too large for its body size.

Common Feline Health Problems And Their Ties To Diet

How Much Food Does My Cat Need?

There is a very strong and extremely logical connection between the way that we are currently feeding our obligate carnivores and many of the life-threatening diseases that afflict them.

Diabetes: Diabetes is a very serious and difficult to manage disease that is not uncommon in cats. We do not know all of the causes of this complex disease but what we do know is that many diabetic cats cease needing insulin or have their insulin needs significantly decrease once their dietary carbohydrate level is decreased to a more species-appropriate level than that found in many commercial foods.

Given this fact, and given what we know about how the cat processes carbohydrates, it is not a stretch to say that high carbohydrate diets could very well be a significant factor in causing diabetes in some cats.

Please see this paper discussing the elevated blood glucose in cats after eating a high carbohydrate meal:

There are countless cases of successful diabetic remission when cat caregivers remove all dry food and all high carbohydrate canned food from their cats diet.

In addition to the issue of carbohydrates and how they affect the blood sugar level of some cats, dry food is very calorie dense, is very palatable, and is usually free-fed. This often leads to obesity.

Fat cells produce a substance that makes the other cells in the body resistant to insulin. This promotes the diabetic state.

Brewers rice, corn gluten meal, pork fat , chicken by-product meal

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Should You Feed Your Cat Both Wet And Dry Food

First, determine if you will be feeding your cat a 100 percent wet food diet or including some dry food. While the gold standard is to feed all wet food to cats, some cats love dry food and will undereat if they are only given wet food. In addition, dry food is more affordable, so feeding part dry will be easier on your budget.

Feeding a mix of wet and dry may require a bit of math to make sure your cat is getting the appropriate number of calories. One easy starting point is to look at the recommended daily feeding amounts on each type of food and half them.

Once you have settled on the ratio of wet-to-dry, it’s time to determine the calorie count of the food. Make sure you are feeding a quality diet that’s listed as “complete and balanced” by AAFCO. Then, determine the number of calories per portion.

Cat Feeding Mistakes: Feeding Only Dry Food

The biggest mistake people make is feeding cats dry food, says Lisa A. Pierson, DVM, a California veterinarian focused on feline medicine and nutrition, and creator of CatInfo.org.

As it turns out, todays domestic tabby evolved from desert-dwelling ancestors, a heritage that no doubt left our furry felines with their grace, hunting prowess — and low thirst drive.

We know that a cats sensitivity to thirst is blunted compared to a dog, Case says. They don’t voluntarily drink water like a dog would. And because cats naturally produce highly concentrated urine we’re setting them up for urinary tract problems when their diet is low in liquids.

When cats present with urinary tract problems, the recommendation is to get them on a water-rich diet, Pierson says. However, why are we closing the barn door after the horse is a mile down the road? Why not practice preventive nutrition by feeding them canned food before they end up with urinary tract problems?

Cats are designed to get their water with their food, Pierson says. Although mice, a cat’s normal food, are about 70% water, and canned food about 78%, dry food is between 5%-10% water. That’s why canned food does a much better job of keeping your cat well-hydrated, Pierson tells WebMD. Think of canned food as hosing down your cat’s bladder several times a day.

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How Much Should A Cat Eat When Feeding Raw

The general consensus for raw is to feed 2-4% of your cats ideal weight.

You may use a raw feeding calculator to calculate this amount.

If you dont know where to start, you may start at 3%.

Adjust the amount that you feed your cat based on his individual needs.

For example, Jericho has a lot of energy, and hes very active.

So I feed him an amount thats between whats recommended for 2% and 3%.

Can I Feed My Bengal Raw Chicken

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Yes, you can feed raw chicken to your Bengal cat.Raw chicken contains a good amount of protein which is beneficial for Bengal cats.But I will advise you to cook the chicken before feeding to your Bengal cat. Because raw chicken also carries a risk of internal parasite that can cause food poisoning to your Bengal cat.

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Monitoring Your Cats Weight

Once you know how much wet food should a cat eat to receive the chosen amount of kcals, taking into account any dry food or other treats you may provide, let it be like that for about a week. You can, of course, make daily weight measurements, but you are unlikely to get visible results over the span of two days, and there can be other factors in play. So, a week should be a more reasonable period for assessing changes and planning further actions.

If the cat gains weight over that week, reduce the calories amount, but by much, go with 10% at a time, setting the new norm for the following week. The loss of weight should be met with a similar increase of calories by 10%.

Since no numbers can be precise for all cats, its up to you to monitor their weight and body condition, adjusting the food amount and calories count consistently. Repeat weighing every one or two weeks to see if any new adjustments are required.

Feeding Our Cats: A Guide To The Right Caloric Intake


Feeding our cats can be tricky. They may have specific tastes, they may have health restrictions, or they may simply want more food than what we are giving them, but when it comes to being a cat parent, we have to ensure we are doing what’s right for our furry friends and not give in to their every want and need.

While every cat is different, there are some general guidelines when it comes to feeding our feline friends. Typically, owners should look at what their cat weighs to determine the number of calories per day they should consume. These numbers also connect to your cat’s age, activity level, and health. Check out the guide below for some helpful tips. If you’re not sure how to proceed, talk to your vet to help you make the right choice.

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How Much Raw Meat Should I Feed My Bengal Cat

You should feed raw meat anywhere between 2% to 4% of the ideal body weight of the cat.

You should feed raw meat about 2% of the ideal weight of the cat to an inactive or older cat.

Whereas to a young or active cat, you should feed raw meat about 4% of the ideal body weight of the cat.

Bengal cats are probably the most active cats and so you should feed them raw meat about 4% of their ideal body weight.

For example, if the ideal body weight of your Bengal cat is 10 pounds.

Then 4% of 10 pounds equals 0.4 pounds which are 6.4 ounces.

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What Are The Nutritional Requirements For A Growing Kitten

How to Feed Your Cat | Cat Care

When choosing a diet for your growing kitten, it is important to understand three key nutrients: protein, fat, and calcium.


  • Protein requirements for growing kittens are high during the weaning stage, but the amount of protein they need will steadily decrease thereafter.
  • The recommended protein range for healthy kitten growth is 35-50% on a dry matter basis with at least 9% dry matter from an animal source. These levels support optimal growth, so it is not recommended to exceed them.
  • Nutritional formulations for adult cats should not be fed to growing kittens. Although the dry matter protein level may be adequate, other nutrients and energy content will not be balanced for optimal growth.
  • Fat is a source of essential fatty acids. It is a concentrated source of energy and it carries fat-soluble vitamins.
  • Excessive energy intake is risky and can lead to obesity and developmental orthopedic disease. For this reason, the fat content for kittens should be rationed between 18-35% on a dry matter basis.


  • Kitten growth formulations should contain 0.8-1.6% calcium on a dry matter basis.

Once an appropriate nutritional product has been chosen, no additional vitamin or mineral supplements should be given. You should also avoid foods that produce a urinary pH of less than 6.2. Your veterinarian can help you determine the pH levels for kitten foods you are considering.

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How Many Calories Does Your Pet Need

In order to properly determine how many calories your pet needs, his or her lifestyle, age, activity level, and many other factors must first be considered. How do these factors affect your cat and how should you go about determining your pet’s caloric needs? Let’s take a look.


Why Does My Cat Like Their Food

Of course! After all that, your kitty decides the food does not meet their standards. Fortunately, you probably dont have to go back to the beginning. There are some easy fixes you can try first.

Try a different flavor

Just like us, individual cats like certain flavors. So while your cat may not be a big fan of the whitefish, they may go nuts for chicken. With a new or very young cat, its best to buy a few types of food and do a taste test to see what they prefer.

Some cats will want variety, so dont throw those other cans away just yet. A cat who dismisses a food one day may soon tire of the flavor they liked before, and thats the time to see if they want more options on the menu.

Get the food in a different texture

Cats are extremely sensitive to their food textures. This is why you see so many variations available within a brand, such as a pâté, sliced, grilled, flaked, and many more. The texture of the food can make or break whether your cat will touch it, no matter how hungry they are.

Check if the smell sends them running

Cats can have up to 80 olfactory receptors. So even if theyre starving, they can be put off from their food right away if they dont like the smell. If your cat has a quick and intense reaction to the food, the scent is to blame.

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